Background Therapeutic approaches to rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have undergone significant changes. The importance of tight control and early treatment, rapidly altered if goals are not achieved, is supported by evidence. However, it is unknown to what extent these insights are accepted by practitioners in clinical practice.
Objective To obtain information about standard follow-up and treatment practices, and rheumatologists' aims in the care of patients with RA.
Methods A survey conducted at the 2008 EULAR Congress.
Results Most specialists, who were mainly from Europe and Latin America, were well-informed about recent concepts: two-thirds specified remission as a major goal. The experts attempted to reach treatment aims within 12–14 weeks, altering treatment otherwise. Disease activity assessment by composite measures is performed by a majority, although one-third preferentially relied upon their judgment.
Conclusion These results suggest the acceptance of ambitious treatment concepts in practice. Although voluntary surveys have limitations, the answers reflect widespread adoption of desirable standards of care.
This paper is freely available online under the BMJ Journals unlocked scheme, see http://ard.bmj.com/info/unlocked.dtl
Statistics from Altmetric.com
Funding The study was supported by an unrestricted grant from Abbott.
Competing interest Representatives of the company attended the initial meeting, but had no active participation or influence on the decision-making regarding the questions. In addition, none of the questions related to the use of particular treatments. The analyses were performed at the Medical University of Vienna. The handling editor was D T Boumpas.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.